Richard Donner: “Martin Ritt changed my life. He put me on the road that I’m on now”

In 1951, an aspiring and ambitious young actor named Richard Donner played a small part in a TV production of “Of Human Bondage” (in the series “Somerset Maugham TV Theatre”). Although he had only a few lines to say, he ran into a little argument with director Martin Ritt who told him, “Your problem is that you can’t take direction, you ought to be a director,” and Mr. Ritt made him his assistant on the show. “Martin Ritt changed my life. He put me on the road that I’m on now and he made my life extremely complete,” Mr. Donner says now, looking back to what happened to him sixty-five years ago. Ultimately, he became of one of the screen’s most successful filmmakers of the past half a century – give or take a few years.

After working for television, directing episodes of several top TV series in the 1960s, including working with Loretta Young in “Letter to Loretta” (1961) and Steve McQueen in his breakthrough role in “Wanted: Dead or Alive” (1961), and directing other successful series such as “The Twilight Zone” (1964), “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (1964), “Get Smart” (1965), “The Fugitive” (1966), “Cade’s County” (1971), “Kojak” (1973) and “The Streets from San Francisco” (1974), he got his break when Alan Ladd, Jr., head of 20th Century Fox at the time, only wanted to make “The Omen” (1976) with Mr. Donner directing the picture. “Then I realized that my television days were over,” he remembers.

Richard Donner film poster Lethal Weapon
Mr. Donner’s “Lethal Weapon” films became one of the most successful series in the 1980s and 1990s

What followed, is screen history. Mr. Donner, born Richard Donald Schwartzberg in the Bronx in 1930, made screen classics such as “Superman” (1978), bringing the characters of Clark Kent/Superman back to the screen after many years of absence; he brought us the lively adventures of “The Goonies” (1985), launched the highly successful series of four “Lethal Weapons” movies (1987-1998) with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, and he cast Bill Murray in “Scrooged” (1988), a hip and funny version of Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. Mr. Donner, considered to be one of Hollywood’s most reliable producers-directors of action blockbusters, as well as being a truly remarkable genius when it comes to handling incredible, precious little gems like “Inside Moves” (1980) or “Radio Flyer” (1992), is one of the most versatile veteran filmmakers who can handle various genres very successfully.

After working for television for so many years though, he was Hollywood’s newest discovery almost overnight after “The Omen” (1976) was released. Who knows what his career would have been like if he would have been able to start making such prestigious film projects a decade earlier. We’ll never know, but what we do know, is that it is typical for almost any Donner film that the lines are around the block once his films are out in the theaters. It’s almost his trademark.

Talking to Mr. Donner, allowing me some of his time only a few days before he turned 86, makes you realize the importance and the incredible value of his films, and his passion for his craft all the more. Upbeat, positive, kind-hearted and supportive all the way through, and with the experience of a lifetime behind the camera as one of the leading filmmakers in the Emerald City, it’s no secret he likes to feel good by the end of a movie. “The more you work with him, the more you see him as a kid in a candy store. With his infectious laugh, you just want to follow him everywhere,” Christopher Reeve once said. With Mr. Donner adding, “If you want to be depressed, you can always watch the news.” Which sums it up pretty much: just like no one else ever portrayed the character of Superman any better or more beautifully than Christopher Reeve did in the first two “Superman” films (“I made two too many,” he later stated on BBC television, referring to the third and fourth episodes he made in 1983 and 1987), it all seems pretty logical why his films do so well: his love for people, for life, and for the movies, along with his youthful exuberance and his love for storytelling, make it an inspiring experience to watch his entire body of work.

Richard Donner X-Men Apocalypse posterThirty years ago, Mr. Donner married Lauren Shuler who became one of the top producers ever in the American film industry and who has frequently collaborated with Mr. Donner. The Donners’ Company, based in Los Angeles, is their production company. She is the driving force behind the “X-Men” films which she and her husband launched in 2000. The latest film in the series – a series which has dominated the box-office for the past fifteen years – is called “X-Men: Apocalypse.” The film stars Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender, and it will be out this month.

Mr. Donner, you have always been a very creative director. You also worked on a lot of successful TV series in the sixties. Do you feel you were creatively restricted since you couldn’t change the characters that had been going for years?

That was always a problem and usually the reason why I got fired: I wanted to introduce something new. After all, why did they hire you? Maybe for a new look or a new feeling, but in the end, they preferred it the way they had originated it. So every time I wanted to change something, I found myself being fired.

After working many years for television, I suppose “The Omen” [1976], which put you on the map immediately, was the turning point in your career?

Yes, that’s right. You know, the script had been turned down by most of the studios and when the idea of taking it from a horror film and – into my mind – turning it in a mystery suspense thriller, that all of a sudden gave it a moment of class. So yes, I had the opportunity to make the changes I wanted, and I just had to find out if I was right or wrong. We were lucky enough to get Gregory Peck and Lee Remick to play the leading roles, which validated the story. When the film came out and was very successful, I was the new kid on the block.

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Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner on the set of “Superman” (1978). Picture: Warner Bros.

Your desire to make the changes you want, is that maybe the essence of your approach? Christopher Reeve once said about you: ‘I think that what makes Dick such a unique director, are two things, his desire to enable his co-workers to do their best, and a real innocence about the story, so that he can really look at it from an audience’s point of view and say, ‘Tell me the story.’ Would you consider that a good definition of your approach?

That’s very nice, I never heard that before. And yes, very much so. You think you are making a movie for yourself, but in reality you’re making it for the audience: that’s your responsibility.

How do you look back to “Superman” [1978] and how important was Christopher Reeve to the success of the film?

Well, the whole picture really was on his shoulders, because the audience had to believe this character – he had to portray two roles – and in doing so, it was really Jules and Jim. Here you had Clark Kent who had feelings for Lois Lane [played by Margot Kidder], while she had it for the character of Superman. What a role to play for a young actor. If that didn’t come off, you would never have a movie. That was more important than the flying. As far as Christopher Reeve is concerned, I honestly don’t think anybody could have played that role the way he did. I don’t think anyone will ever come along and play it like he played it, he was a very special individual, a great person, a great friend, loving and devoted, with a wonderful sense of humor. And he also made my career. I think about him an awful lot.

Producer Lauren Shuler Donner, actor Elijah Wood (with his back to the camera) and director Richard Donner on the set of “Radio Flyer” (1992). Picture: Columbia Pictures

You made several box-office hit movies, but in between you also took the time to make more intimate films like “Inside Moves” [1980] or “Radio Flyer” [1992]. Is that also a favorite genre of yours?

Truthfully, yes. Those are the pictures I would like to have made more of, even though it was a difficult time getting those made. When these other films came along, like the “Lethal Weapons”, you were involved with the characters, you cared about them. But if I could have gone on and made mostly relationship films, I would have, but especially at that time, it was really tough to get them made.

What would you consider your major quality as a film director?

I don’t really know, I think it is working with actors. Having been an actor, trying hard, realizing all the insecurities, the need for assistance and assurance, I think I would say I have a sensitivity to the actors and their problems. I know how insecure I can be as a director, and for actors it must be ten times harder because everything surrounds them all the time. So I think my relationships with them are pretty good.

Is that the reason why you always get to work with the biggest stars in the business, like Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, etc.?

No, because you get to work with them before they know who you are. They may know your name, or the films you made, but you don’t really get to build a relationship until you’re actually filming. So in those cases you’re very committed to working with these people, but it’s during the process of filmmaking that the relationships work out. With everyone of the people that you’ve mentioned, they worked out very well.

What would you consider your proudest achievement so far?

Marrying my producer-wife [Lauren Shuler Donner], that’s my biggest achievement. Everything involves the talent of my wife, we have a great relationship, she’s a genius in creating projects, and I adore working with her. She’s built our production company more than I have. She still does it, continues doing it, and loves it. She’s the best.

Richard Donner film poster The GooniesWhat has been your most difficult film to make?

Probably “The Goonies” [1985]. I loved doing it, but it was incredibly difficult with all these little kids who were non-professionals, keeping them together and in line… Technically, of course, “Superman” was by far the most difficult, but technically – it’s not that important as the emotion, and getting everything out of those kids: it was a wonderful dream and a horrible nightmare.

What about Steven Spielberg, who produced “The Goonies”?

He’s a great guy, a close friend, and I was privileged to get a call from him and hear him saying, ‘Dick, I’m going to send you a script, it’s called “The Goonies”.’ When I had read it, I called him back and said, ‘I love it, but why did you pick me? Why aren’t you directing it?’ He said, ‘Well, I can’t, because I am doing another one. And why do I ask you? Because you’re as big as a kid as I am, or maybe bigger.’ Ever since then, we just had a great relationship, it was a great experience working with him, just to see how fertile his mind is. Amazing.

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of your collaboration with Marlon Brando in “Superman”? Was he easy to work with, and did he improvise a lot?

Marlon Brando did stick to the script pretty much, but when he had an idea, you just let him do it – after all, he was Marlon Brando. When it was over, we sat down and ninety-nine percent of the time, it was just perfect. He was an amazing human being, not only as an actor; he stood up to the world and he spoke out whenever he wanted. So he did improvise, but most of the time, it came from an actor who really knew what he was doing and was living the character he was playing. What came out of him, was very honest.

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Film director Richard Donner with Marlon Brando on the set of “Superman” (1978). Picture: Warner Bros.

Did he use a specific acting style when he did his scenes?

He wanted to do his scenes fresh, the first time. He said, ‘I’m an actor and the first time I read something and do it before the camera, I want it to be me. If I do it over and over again, I’m rethinking and then my instincts are gone.’

How do you react when you just don’t get a scene right?

If it’s during the day when you’re shooting it, you still have the opportunity to make changes. But when it’s too late – you’re in your car driving home, or you think about it in the middle of the night – and you realize what you should have done, then you think, ‘Oh my God, am I not qualified to do the job?’ But those are the moments that you learn about filmmaking and you never, ever, stop learning. Most of those moments happen when you don’t trust your own instincts or when you’re under pressure.

“16 Blocks” [2006] with Bruce Willis was your latest film as a director so far. In the meantime you have always been very busy producing. Would you consider directing again?

Yes, I’m writing a sequel picture right now. Whether it happens or not, I don’t know. Everybody wants to do it, and I’d say, I got to get it done. It’s “The Goonies 2” I’m talking about. It has such a great history, it has carried on in America for over thirty years as one of the top family films of the country. It’s a tradition we gotta keep up to. So we’re working on it, slowly but steady. We’re also doing a theater version of “The Goonies” which will open in New York, hopefully within a year or a year and a half. “Goonies” is a part of my life, and it’s a part that I love.

Los Angeles, California
April 21, 2016

FILMS

SALT AND PEPPER (1968) DIR Richard Donner PROD Milton Ebbins SCR Michael Pertwee CAM Ken Higgins MUS John Dankworth ED Jack Slade CAST Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Michael Bates, Ilona Rodgers, John Le Mesurier, Graham Stark

TWINKY (1970) DIR Richard Donner PROD Clive Sharp SCR Norman Thaddeus Vane (also story) CAM Walter Lassally MUS John Scott ED Norman Wantsall CAST Charles Bronson, Orson Beam, Honor Blackman, Michael Craig, Paul Ford, Jack Hawkins, Trevor Howard, Lionel Jeffries, Robert Morley, Susan George, Jill Ireland

THE OMEN (1976) DIR Richard Donner PROD Harvey Bernhard SCR David Seltzer CAM Gilbert Taylor MUS Jerry Goldsmith ED Stuart Baird CAST Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw, Harvey Stephens, Patrick Throughton, Martin Benson, Robert Rietty

SUPERMAN (1978) DIR Richard Donner PROD Pierre Spengler, Richard Lester [uncredited] SCR Mario Puzo, Robert Benton, David Newman, Leslie Newman (story by Mario Puzo; characters created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster) CAM Geoffrey Unsworth MUS John Williams ED Stuart Baird, Michael Ellis CAST Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Trevor Howard, Valerie Perrine, Maria Schell, Terence Stamp, Susannah York, Larry Hagman, John Ratzenberger, Richard Donner

SUPERMAN II (1980) DIR Richard Lester, Richard Donner [uncredited] PROD Pierre Spengler SCR Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman (story by Mario Puzo; characters created by Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster) CAM Bob Paynter, Geoffrey Unsworth MUS Ken Thorne ED John Victor-Smith CAST Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, Clifton James, E.G. Marshall, Terence Stamp, John Ratzenberger, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Richard Donner

INSIDE MOVES (1980) DIR Richard Donner PROD R.W. Goodwin, Mark M. Tanz SCR Barry Levinson, Valerie Curtin (novel by Tod Walton) CAM László Kovács MUS John Barry ED Frank Morriss CAST John Savage, Diane Scarwid, David Morse, Amy Wright, Tony Burton, Bert Remsen, Harold Russell, Pepe Serna, Harold Sylvester

THE FINAL CONFLICT (1981) DIR Graham Baker PROD Harvey Bernhard EXEC PROD Richard Donner SCR Andrew Birkin (characters created by David Seltzer) CAM Phil Meheux, Robert Paynter MUS Jerry Goldsmith ED Alan Strachan CAST Sam Neill, Rossano Brazzi, Don Gordon, Lisa Harrow, Barnaby Holm, Mason Adams, Robert Arden, Ruby Wax

THE TOY (1982) DIR Richard Donner PROD Ray Stark, Phil Feldman SCR Carol Sobieski (screenplay of LE JOUET [1976] by Francis Veber) CAM László Kovács MUS Patrick Williams ED Richard Harris, Michael A. Stevenson CAST Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty, Scott Schwartz, Teresa Ganzel, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Annazette Chase, Alex Hyde-White

LADYHAWKE (1985) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Lauren Shuler Donner SCR Edward Khmara, Michael Thomas, Tom Mankiewicz (story by Edward Khmara) CAM Vittorio Storaro MUS Andrew Powell ED Stuart Baird CAST Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer, Leo McKern, John Wood, Ken Hutchinson, Alfred Molina, Giancarlo Prete

THE GOONIES (1985) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Harvey Bernhard EXEC PROD Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy SCR Chris Columbus (story by Steven Spielberg) CAM Nick McLean MUS Dave Grusin ED Michael Kahn, Steven Spielberg [uncredited] CAST Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan, John Matuszak, Anne Ramsey, Richard Donner

LETHAL WEAPON (1987) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Shane Black CAM Stephen Goldblatt MUS Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen ED Stuart Baird CAST Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan, Tom Atkins, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Jackie Swanson

THE LOST BOYS (1987) DIR Joel Schumacher PROD Harvey Bernhard EXEC PROD Richard Donner SCR Janice Fischer, Jeffrey Boam, James Jeremias (story by Janice Fischer, James Jeremias) CAM Michael Chapman MUS Thomas Newman ED Robert Brown CAST Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Getz, Corey Feldman

SCROOGED (1988) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Art Linson SCR Mitch Glazer, Michael O’Donoghue (novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens) CAM Michael Chapman MUS Danny Elfman ED William Steinkamp, Frederic Steinkamp CAST Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, Jamie Farr, Buddy Hackett, John Houseman, Lee Majors, Mary Lou Retton, Anne Ramsey, Mitch Glazer, Maria Riva

LETHAL WEAPON II (1989) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Jeffrey Boam (story by Shane Black, Warren Murphy; characters created by Shane Black) CAM Stephen Goldblatt MUS Eric Clapton, David Sanborn, Michael Kamen ED Stuart Baird CAST Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland, Derrick O’Connor, Patsy Kensit, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe

DELIRIOUS (1991) DIR Tom Mankiewicz PROD Doug Claybourne, Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman EXEC PROD Richard Donner SCR Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman CAM Robert Stevens MUS Cliff Eidelman ED William Gordean, Tina Hirsch CAST John Candy, Mariel Hemingway, Emma Samms, Raymond Burr, Dylan Baker, Charles Rocket, David Rasche, Robert Wagner, Margot Kidder

RADIO FLYER (1992) DIR Richard Donner, David M. Evans [uncredited] PROD Lauren Shuler Donner SCR Robert M. Evans CAM László Kovács MUS Hans Zimmer ED Stuart Baird, Dallas Puett CAST Lorraine Bracco, John Heard, Elijah Wood, Joseph Mazzello, Adam Baldwin, Ben Johnson, Sean Baca, Tom Hanks

LETHAL WEAPON 3 (1992) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Jeffrey Boam, Robert Mark Kamen (story by Jeffrey Boam; characters created by Shane Black) CAM Jan de Bont MUS Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen, David Sanborn ED Robert Brown, Battle Davis CAST Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, Steve Kahan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Damon Hines, Lauren Shuler Donner, Jan de Bont

FREE WILLY (1993) DIR Simon Wincer PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Jennie Lewd Tugend EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Arnon Milchan SCR Corey Blechman, Keith A. Walker (story by Keith A. Walker) CAM Robbie Greenberg MUS Basil Poledouris ED O. Nicholas Brown CAST Jason James Richter, Lori Petty, Jayne Atkinson, August Schellenberg, Michael Madsen, Michael Ironside, Richard Riehle

MAVERICK (1994) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Bruce Davey SCR William Goldman (television series MAVERICK [1957-1962] created by Roy Huggins) CAM Vilmos Zsigmond MUS Randy Newman ED Stuart Baird, Mike Kelly CAST Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene, Alfred Molina, James Coburn, Dub Taylor, Geoffrey Lewis, Paul L. Smith, Dan Hedeya, Corey Feldman, Lauren Shuler Donner, Vilmos Zsigmond, Doug McClure, Henry Darrow, Linda Hunt, Richard Donner, James Drury, John Fogerty, Danny Glover, Margot Kidder

ASSASSINS (1995) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver, Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon, Andrew Lazar, Jim Van Wyck EXEC PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Dino De Laurentiis SCR Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, Brian Helgeland (story by Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski) CAM Vilmos Zsigmond MUS Mark Mancina ED Lawrence Jordan, Richard Marks CAST Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Julianne Moore, Anatoly Davydov, Muse Watsman, Steve Kahan, Kelly Rowan, Reed Diamond

TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT (1995) DIR Ernest R. Dickerson PROD Gilbert Adler, Alan Katz EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Walter Hill, David Giler, Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver SCR Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, Mark Bishop CAM Rick Bota MUS Ed Shearmur ED Stephen Lovejoy CAST John Kassir, Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett Smith, Brenda Bakke, Dick Miller, Thomas Haden Church, John Schuck

FREE WILLY 2: THE ADVENTURE HOME (1995) DIR Dwight H. Little PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Jennie Lew Tugend EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Arnon Milchan, Jim Van Wyck SCR Karen Janszen, Corey Blechman, John Mattson (characters created by Keith A. Walker) CAM Lászlo Kovács MUS Basil Poledouris ED Robert Brown, Dallas Puett CAST Jason James Richter, Michael Madsen, Mary Kate Schellhardt, Francis Capra, August Schellenberg, Jayne Atkinson, Elizabeth Peña

BORDELLO OF BLOOD (1996) DIR – PROD Gilbert Adler EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Robert Zermeckis, Joel Silver, Walter Hill, David Giler SCR A.L. Katz, Gilbert Adler (story by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale; comic strips ‘Tales From the Crypt’ by William M. Gaines) CAM Tom Priestley MUS Chris Boardman ED Stephen Lovejoy CAST Dennis Miller, Erika Eleniak, Angie Everhart, Chris Sarandon, Corey Feldman, Aubrey Morris, William Sadler

CONSPIRACY THEORY (1997) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Brian Helgeland CAM John Schwartzman MUS Carter Burwell ED Kevin Stitt, Frank J. Urioste CAST Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart, Cylk Cozart, Steve Kahan, Terry Alexander, Alex MacArthur, Rod McLachlan, Michael Potts, Richard Donner

FREE WILLY 3: THE RESCUE (1997) DIR Sam Pillsbury PROD Jennie Lew Tugend EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Lauren Shuler Donner, Arnon Milchan SCR John Mattson (characters created by Keith A. Walker) CAM Tobias Schliessler MUS Cliff Eidelman ED Margie Goodspeed CAST Jason James Richter, August Schellenberg, Annie Corley, Vincent Berry, Patrick Kilpatrick, Tasha Simms

DOUBLE TAP (1997) DIR Greg Yaitanes PROD Richard Donner, Gilbert Adler, Joel Silver SCR Erik Saltzgaber, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar CAM John Peters MUS Moby ED Anthony Adler CAST Stephen Rae, Heather Locklear, Peter Greene, Mykelti Williamson, Kevin Gage, Robert LaSardo, Richard Edson

LETHAL WEAPON 4 (1998) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Channing Gibson (story by Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar (characters created by Shane Black) CAM Andrzej Bartowiak MUS Eric Clapton, Michael Kamen, David Sanborn ED Dallas Puett, Eric Strand, Frank J. Urioste, Kevin Stitt CAST Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock, Jet Li, Steve Kahan, Kim Chan, Darlene Love, Traci Wolfe, Eddy Ko

MADE MEN (1999) DIR Louis Morneau PROD Richard Donner, Joel Silver SCR Robert Franke, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar CAM George Mooradian MUS Stewart Copeland ED Glenn Garland CAST James Belushi, Michael Beach, Timothy Dalton, Steve Railsback, Carlton Wilborn, Vanessa Angel

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY (1999) DIR Oliver Stone PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Dan Halsted EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Oliver Stone SCR Oliver Stone, John Logan (screen story by Oliver Stone, John Logan) CAM Salvatore Totino MUS Richard Horowitz, Paul Kelly ED Tom Nordberg, Stuart Levy, Stuart Waks, Keith Salmon CAST Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, Jim Brown, Lauren Holly, Ann-Margret, Aaron Eckhart, Charlton Heston, Oliver Stone, Sean Stone

X-MEN (2000) DIR Bryan Singer PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Ralph Winter EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Avi Arad, Tom DeSanto SCR David Hayter (story by Bryan Singer, Tom DeSanto) CAM Newton Thomas Sigel MUS Michael Kamen ED John Wright, Kevin Stitt, Steven Rosenblum CAST Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Tyler Mane

RITUAL (2002) DIR Avi Nesher PROD Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, Walter Hill, David Giler SCR Rob Cohen, Avi Nesher (screenplay of I WALKED A ZOMBIE [1943] by Curt Siodmak, Ardel Wray; story by Inez Wallace) CAM David A. Armstrong, Douglas Milsome MUS Shirley Walker ED Robert A. Ferretti, Michael Schweitzer CAST Jennifer Grey, Craig Sheffer, Daniel Lapaine, Kristen Wilson, Gabriel Casseus, Tim Curry

TIMELINE (2003) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, Lauren Shuler Donner, Jim Van Wyck SCR Jeff Maguire, George Nolfi (novel by Michael Crichton) CAM Caleb Deschanel MUS Bryan Tyler ED Richard Marks CAST Paul Walker, Gerard Butler, Billy Connelly, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Neal McDonough, Matt Craven, Michael Sheen, Lambert Wilson, Richard Donner

16 BLOCKS (2006) DIR Richard Donner PROD Randall Emmett, Avi Lerner, John Thompson, Jim Van Wyck, Arnold Rifkin SCR Richard Wenk CAM Glen MacPherson MUS Klaus Badelt ED Steven Mirkovich CAST Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse, Yasiin Bey, Jenna Stern, Casey Sander, Cylk Cozart, David Zayas, Robert Racki, Patrick Garrow, Richard Donner

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009) DIR Gavin Hood PROD Lauren Shuler Donner, Hugh Jackman, John Palermo, Ralph Winter EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Stan Lee SCR David Benioff, Skip Woods CAM Donald M. McAlpine MUS Harry Gregson-Williams ED Megan Gill, Nicolas De Toth CAST Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Ryan Reynolds, Danny Huston, Will.i.am, Lynn Collins, Kevin Durand, Dominic Monaghan

BLACK AND WHITE IN COLORS (2012) DIR Leonardo Corbucci PROD Leonardo Corbucci, Georgi Nikolov, Kristina Nikolova ASSOC PROD Richard Donner, Milko Lazarov, Dimitar Gochev, Christo Jivkov SCR Leonardo Corbucci (also story) CAM Kristina Nikolova, Alexander Stanishev MUS Ernesto Fialdini, Luciano Storti, Christian Hessler, Jimmy Reid, Ruslan Kupenov CAST Leonardo Corbucci, Olga Apostolova, Georgi Cunkov, Desislava Dimitrova, Petia Dimitrova

TV FILMS

HERNANDEZ (1973) DIR Richard Donner PROD David Levinson SCR (created by Robert Van Soyk) MUS Richard Clements CAST Henry Darrow, Desmond Dhooge, Dana Elcar, Ronny Cox, G.D. Spradlin, Amapola Del Vando

NIGHTSIDE (1973) DIR Richard Donner PROD Paul Leaf SCR Peter Hamill (also created by Pete Hamill) MUS Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson CAST John Cassavetes, Alexis Smith, Mike Kellin, Joseph Wiseman, Richard Jordan, Seymour Cassel, F. Murray Abraham

STAT! (1973) DIR Richard Donner PROD – SCR E. Jack Neuman MUS Morton Stevens CAST Frank Converse, Michael DeLano, Marian Collier, Casey McDonald, Monika Henreid, Peggy Rea, Marcy Lafferty

A SHADOW IN THE STREETS (1975) DIR Richard Donner PROD Richard Donner, John D.F. Black SCR John D.F. Black CAM Gayne Rescher MUS Charles Bernstein ED Dale Mackay, David Rawlins CAST Tony Lo Bianco, Sheree North, Dana Andrews, Ed Lauter, Jesse Welles, Bill Henderson, Dick Balduzzi, John Sylvester White, Lee de Broux

SARAH T. – PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE ALCOHOLIC (1975) DIR Richard Donner PROD David Levinson SCR Esther Shapiro, Richard Shapiro CAM Gayle Rescher MUS James Di Pasquale ED Richard Bracken CAST Linda Blair, Larry Hagman, Verna Bloom, William Daniels, Mark Hamill, Eric Olson, Laurette Spang, M. Emmet Walsh, Steve Benedict, Marian Collier, Jessica Rains

TWO-FISTED TALES (1992) DIR Richard Donner, Tom Holland, Robert Zemeckis PROD William Teitler SCR Frank Darabont, Randall Jahnson, A.L. Katz, Jim Thomas, John Thomas EXEC PROD Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis, Joel Silver, Walter Hill, David Giler CAM Don Burgess, Gary B. Kibbe, Hiro Narita MUS Michael Kamen, Alan Silvestri, Warren Zevon ED Michael Thau CAST William Sadler, David Morse, Brad Pitt, Raymond J. Barry, Michelle Bronson, Lance Henriksen, Dan Aykroyd

THE OMEN (1995) DIR Jack Sholder PROD Christopher Morgan EXEC PROD Richard Donner, John Leekley SCR John Leekly CAM Tobias A. Schliessler MUS J. Peter Robsinson CED Michael Schweitzer CAST Brett Cullen, Chelsea Field, William Sadler, Norman Lloyd, Julie Carmen, Steven Williams

W.E.I.R.D. WORLD (1995) DIR William Malone PROD A.L. Katz EXEC PROD Richard Donner, David Giler, Walter Hill, Joel Silver, Robert Zemeckis SCR Gilbert Adler, A.L. Katz, Scott Nimerfro (story by William M. Gaines) CAM Levie Isaacks MUS Nicholas Pike ED Anthony Adler, Stanley Wohlberg CAST Dana Ashbrook, Marshall Bell, Audie England, Paula Marshall, Kathryn Morris, Ed O’Neill

MATTHEW BLACKHEART: MONSTER SMASHER (2002) DIR Erik Canuel PROD Richard Donner, Lise Abastado SCR Karen Wyscarver (created by Robert Engels, Mark Villalobos, Roy Knyrim, John Schouweiler) CAM John Dyer MUS Michel Corriveau ED François Gill, Philippe Ralet CAST Robert Bogue, Christopher Heyerdahl, Jay Baruchel, Karen Elkin, John Novak, Paul Cagelet